Starting October 2021

Please note - you will be able to apply for this course using our online application form in April 2021, from this website page.

This Level 3 Diploma will prepare you for study at university and is especially appropriate for those who may have not had a good experience with education previously. We have a supportive adult only learning environment and we fully recognise that our students will come from a variety of backgrounds when it comes to education, along with their own life experiences.

Please note that course dates may be subject to change depending on government guidelines at the time.

Because we are a residential college, we accept applications for our Access to HE Diploma from anywhere in England, not just the Midlands.

Click here to take a look at our FAQ's page for recent updates about the college reopening .


Don’t worry if your previous qualifications are not at a high level, we can help you with maths and English too. You will complete units teaching you the academic skills you will need for success such as essay writing and research skills and we will walk you through the university application process.

You will study a range of subject areas including psychology, sociology, study skills and health sciences, don’t worry if you were not keen on science at school, we will start from the beginning!

The Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Science and Health) is highly credited by universities in the UK and it is perfect for people who wish to enter health/nursing related qualifications or social science courses such as psychology.

If you are wondering how you will afford this we can help you there too! Just get in touch, we will walk you through all of the options open to you. The Access to Higher Education Diploma courses were created to help adults back into university, every year we have students from various backgrounds, on low incomes with children and learning difficulties and we are proud to say that once again in 2020 100% of our students passed! You can do it too with our unique and adult dedicated support system. 

Course Date

Dates to be confirmed 

Course Times  This course is full-time Monday to Friday each week - residential (limited non-residential places available) – as a blended learning course incorporating a mixture of in-class and online learning, 2 days per week in college and 1 day online.
Course Level  Level 3 
Course Length This course runs for 9 months
Course Area  Access to Higher Education Social Science and Health 
Awarding Body Open College Network West Midlands 
Course Fees You may be able to receive funding for this course depending on your age and previous qualifications. Please email the Admissions team on [email protected] for further information.

I have gone back to the “happy me”. At Fircroft I can be myself. I have been given opportunities at Fircroft and have constant encouragement and support from tutors and peers.

Jack - Access to Higher Education Diploma student 2019/2020 - now a university student

Support offered

Support and guidance is available to our students when needed to ensure they achieve the aims and objectives of their course as well as having an enjoyable learning experience


This Diploma is widely recognised by universities in the UK and former students have gone on to study degrees and professional qualifications in a number of different subjects.

The Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Science and Health) can help people to pursue degrees for careers in:

  • Nursing (Paediatric and Adult)
  • Midwifery
  • Mental Health Nursing
  • Counselling
  • As well as some other health-related courses and courses related to social sciences such as
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Criminology

Entry requirements

If you do not have a level 2 literacy and level 1 numeracy qualification from within the last 5 years we will ask you to take a literacy and numeracy assessment. If you show that you are able to reach the skills level in these areas, you will then be invited to attend an interview. Students must be aged at least 19 years old by 31st August 2021, to join the course.

Many students find it helpful to undertake short courses in preparation for the Access to Higher Education Diploma. We recommend that applicants for the Access to Higher Education Diploma undertake at least some of the Skills for Further Study (Pre Access to Higher Education (Social Sciences and Humanities) or (Health)) programme if possible. The programme specifically aims to develop the range of skills you will be expected to use on the Access to Higher Education Diploma. 

To find out more about our Pre Access to Higher Education courses (Social Science and Humanities), and (Health) and our Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Science and Humanities) and (Social Science and Health) - email the Admissions team on [email protected] 

If you are unsure about how to apply online, please click here to take a look at our useful guide. 

If you are still experiencing difficulties with applying using the online application form please contact [email protected] or [email protected]

If you experience difficulties with the online application form please email: [email protected] 

If you would like to speak to someone about the Access to Higher Education Diplomas please telephone 0121 472 0116 between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm Monday - Friday.